Preparing for a Better Future.

14th January to 10th February.

Cover Photo, the road gets wet & slippery, near Lake Johnson, Hyden/Norseman Road.

Summer in Western Australia’s, South West. It’s been a wet & cooler one with the odd hot day !

Check out our first 15 minute edited video of India on YouTube , Part 1, wiljen’s first 2 weeks touring India. I have two or three more to do. It’s a time consuming process.

14/01/17, after our Munda Biddi ride Max spends the night at our place. The next day he heads for the Perth hills via Jarrahdale. About an 80km ride.

Hi everyone, hope you are all going well & planning your own next short or long escape from life’s regular humdrum. It is hard to believe nearly a month has past since our last post. Too us we feel life has been pretty dull lately, we’ve caught up with the family & help some of them out here & there, which can be a little mentally draining. Like all of you out there we have many situations going on in the background of our lives that can cause you to stress occasionally.

Jenny’s been feeling pretty worn out & her right knee continues to cause her grief, the myotherapy practitioner & gym has helped a little so she will battle on. I’m focused on our new “wiljen Travel Home Base” getting completed, which has been sucking a lot of my energy. This means I’ve been neglecting preparation for our next Epic Multi Month Tour. Looks like House hand over will be at the end of February, fingers crossed. Even after handover there will still be heaps to do !

We have managed quite a lot of Motorbike Riding in preparation for our next big tour & met heaps of cool like minded “Adventure Orientated” people. Jenny has ridden the Harley often (me a few times) & we are rapidly coming to the conclusion that it is not the right bike for us. There is nothing wrong with it, we just are coming to the realisation that the Adventure Touring style of Motorbike is more suited to our needs. So the little Purple 883 Harley’s days are numbered. We have now commenced our research for a non LAMS Adventure Touring Style bike that will suit Jenny, something between 650CC to 800CC that is not to tall or heavy. The new 2017 Suzuki V Strom 650 XT could be a candidate, we will see ?

A couple of other monumental achievements that occurred during January were on the 17th & 18th, Jenny & our son Hayden headed a 100kms south down to Bunbury to get their Unrestricted Heavy Rigid Truck Licence. It was hard work but after two full on days they both came home successful. Neither of them thought to take any photos, too busy concentrating on the road I guess. (NB: They had also both practiced on our own 10 tonne Medium Rigid, Syncro Gearbox Truck quite a bit a few years ago before we sold it).
The trucks they trained on & tested in were equipped with Road Ranger Gearboxes, so no easy task. Keen’s Truck Driver Training in Bunbury turned out to be a great company to go through. In the words of Jenny “very intense & thorough”. Keen Driver Training, Bunbury, WA.

There are those magic letters on Jenny’s updated drivers licence. R = any Motorbike,   HR = any Dual Rear Axle Heavy Rigid Truck. Well done Jen.

We have also finally taken full control of our Superannuation (Australia’s version of the Retirement Pension Plan that you are forced to pay into during your working life). During the past month we purchased a 200 square meter Factory Unit in a Southern Perth Suburb, it is half built with a completion date in a couple of months. Next up will be the final settlement payment & finding a Tenant to lease it off us long term.
Setting up a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) & locating the appropriate investments has taken us the best part of a year. There are a lot of Government restrictions & regulations but we feel the end result will be worth it. Less fees to Retail Super Funds & Financial Advisors, more control of “OUR” money, hopefully better returns. It can only be a good thing !

25/01/17, we head up to Lane Pool for a swim at Island Pool with my Brother, Steve & niece & nephew, Shaye & Jackson. You could say it was an “interesting drive”. ie take a map next time. 😳

Australia Day, Darren, Jenny & I ride to Midvale. We meet up with 7 other bikes & 8 like minded people for a Horizons Unlimited WA ride to Noble Falls at Gidgegannup. The ride was organised by Tam and Xander of Overland Adventure Equipment. see OAE. The temperature ended up reaching 43C, making for a hot ride.

Stopped at Noble Falls for lunch, Jenny enjoyed the 300km ride on her Honda CB500X.

We also had my mother Bobbie & step-father Jens stay with us for 10 days. They are selling up & permanently moving to Cairns in Queensland. While they were based at our temporary home that we have spent the past 7 months “camping” in, they took the opportunity to clean their old place & finalise other preparation.

During this time Jenny & I took a 4 day trip out to Norseman to catch up with our friends, Barry & Nicole. I’ll share with you some of the travel notes I took. These days we go out of our way to find alternative back roads to travel on, found some good ones during this trip. Finally we have realised travel is about the journey & not the destination !

Pity we only had 4 days up our sleeve. I had to be back in Mandurah by Wednesday for a meeting with our Builder. It’s great out there.

January 2017 Norseman trip notes.
Saturday 28/01/17, Mandurah to Yealering, about 230kms, 40C max temp. Departed 11.30 arrived 4pm stopped at Congelin camp site around 2.15pm but decided to keep going as we had only done 120kms. Once at the Yealering Camp Ground I headed to the Pub to pay our $17 fee, we are the only ones here. Thunderstorms all around us, very hot.

The Dam at Congelin, near Dryandra Forest. Not much chance of a swim.
Yealering is situated on the shores of a large salt lake.
While Jenny relaxes at the Caravan Park, I walk the 500 meters to the Yealering Pub & pay our camp fees. Not much happening in town on a hot Saturday arvo.
“No Camping on the Grass”There is no one else staying in the Caravan Park & that grass looks nice & soft.
We keep it stealthy & strategically park our car to screen us then near sundown pitch our small 3 person tent.
Looks like a storm is brewing,  during the night it rains.

Sunday 29/01/17, Yealering to Norseman via Hyden, 430kms, cooler & wet weather.
Departed at 7am, arrived at 1.30pm, stopped at Forrestonia Flats for early lunch & coffee, 10am.
Took a great back road from Bullaring to Gorge Rock, cut off quite a few kilometres, some of it was good gravel.
Once we arrived at Hyden around , 8.45am we discovered that the whole town hadn’t had any power since 5pm the previous night, luckily we still had heaps of diesel on board. After about 100kms along the Hyden to Norseman Road the rain started and continued until we arrived into Norseman. This made the road a bit slippery & the Landcruiser ended up covered in mud which I promptly washed off at Nicole’s & Barry’s once we arrived there. Easy to get it off wet rather then waiting until it sets like concrete. Barry was sick so went to bed early, we had a BBQ & watched the AO Tennis final.

It’s 6am, we’ve slept pretty well, time to pack up & leave Yealering. It was our first time there & seemed pretty good.
We find some terrific back roads that we have never traveled on before as we make our way to Hyden.
After our early lunch & coffee at Forrestonia Flats the rain starts. Near the Flying Fox Mine we negotiate an easy water crossing.
Lake Johnson is a salt lake, it is starting to fill up.
After 2 hours of muddy roads we arrive at Baz & Nicoles place in Norseman. Always a smart idea to wash the mud off the car while it’s still wet if you can. Just makes your life easier later on. 😀👍

30/01/17, Monday, Norseman, rainy day & cool. 21C. Apart from walking out to the air strip on Lake Cowan with Nicole & Bayley the dog, we didn’t do much.

The next day it’s still raining, that’s Lake Cowan in the background.
Nicole, Bayley the dog & I go for a long muddy walk out to the soggy Airstrip on Lake Cowan. The local Dundas Shire Council are currently converting it into an all weather Airstrip. Big Job.

31/01/17, Tuesday, Norseman to Mandurah via Coolgardie, Merredin, Bruce Rock, Quairading, Beverly & Jarradale, 810kms, 9 hours drive time.
Still cool wet, rainy, Hyden – Norseman Road has been closed (along with most other gravel roads in the area I’d suspect). So need to go home on the Tarmac which is about 200kms longer. Lots of massive roadworks between Coolgardie & Southern Cross. Stacks of heavy rain around Quairading. We get home at 6 pm & found a good short cut between the Brookton Highway & Albany Highway along Kinsella Road, about 15kms of gravel road.

Tuesday, time to depart Norseman for the long haul home, I have a meeting with our Builders back in Mandurah tomorrow.
Just out of Coolgardie a large 4WD towing a camper trailer flicks up a couple of rocks. So we have two new “Stars” added to our windscreen star collection. It’s now a 5 Star Car.


It turns into a very wet drive home, creeks running, dams & lakes filling up, lots of water flowing across the road. Jenny is driving & takes it carefully.


We take a 15km gravel road shortcut along Kinsella Rd from Brookton Highway to Albany Highway. It seems to have rained less here. See the Munda Biddi trail signs 🚴
Saturday the 4th of February, Jenny & I ride up to Victoria Park (Perth) & catch up with Simon to go for a ride, there ends up being 5 of us on the ride.
Mark & Jenny, we arrive at Guilderton (200kms from home) I thought we were only riding to Guildford, that Harley is going to give Jenny’s butt a fair work out 😳
Time to head for home, Simon did a good job leading the ride.

The Landcruisers alternator has seized up, so we take Mum & Jens’s worn out old Falcon for one final trip to Perth Airport. They both look excited & looking forward to starting their new life in Queensland. Good luck & love to you both.

The next day I put the Falcon on Gumtree & 5 minutes later I get a call & it’s, SOLD ! We send the proceeds of the sale to Bobbie & Jens. Amazingly the Ford Falcon had 395000 kms on the original motor, I’d say that after 13 years they got their money’s worth out of it.


Meanwhile we’ve been having a few car issues, seized alternator, broken windscreen & starter battery is nearly dead, needs replacement, (Alternator has now been replaced).

Next update will be the latest on our house & downsizing situation, team wiljen are getting to the pointy end of our simplified living efforts now. Soon we will be able to focus on full time travel.

Heaps of progress at the future wiljen “Travel Home Base”, these photos were taken yesterday (9/02/17).

I’ll leave you with this quote from Steve Jobs that I stumbled across to think about, take care you lot….Will.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Steve Jobs



4 thoughts on “Preparing for a Better Future.

  1. Great adventures Guys. Keep it up. I remember “large 4WD towing a camper trailer flicks up a couple of rocks”. Only I didn’t have a thick wad of shatter proof glass to take the hit.
    Cheers … M


  2. Hi guys, enjoyed your company at dinner Hyden in 2015 and the subsequent blog; replicated some of your adventures in Rajasthan and look forward to more inspirational blogs and catching up on the road again one day. Hope the knackered red knee comes good soon Jen. All the best, Hugh


    1. Hi Hugh,
      Thanks for the support. Yes I remember that night in Hyden well. Oh how I envied everyone in your crew as they rode away on their motorbikes. I actually do recall you very well & our chat. At least we copped 40km/h tailwinds on our first day riding the Hyden – Norseman Road.
      India was great & I would go again (so long as it was somewhere different like the Himalayan’s). Once again great to hear from you, we’ll be out there again on our motorbikes early next month. Take care.
      Will & (Jenny who is sitting next to me watching TV)


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